West Virginia law requires all registered vehicles to be insured and proof of insurance be carried in your vehicle at all times.
Currently the minimum amount of coverage required is:
- $20,000 for one crash, one injury
- $40,000 for one crash, two or more injuries
- $10,000 for property damage
Beginning January 1, 2016 the minimum amount of coverage required is:
- $25,000 for one crash, one injury
- $50,000 for one crash, two or more injuries
- $25,000 for property damage
All vehicle insurance policies must be issued by a company licensed to sell insurance in West Virginia. The Compulsory Insurance law is designed to protect you and all motorists who operate a vehicle in the state of West Virginia.
For more information on the state's mandatory insurance laws, visit the WV Legislature website under WV Code §17A, §17D, or visit the WV Secretary of State website under Title 91, Series 13; Compulsory Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance.
Online Insurance Verification Program
The DMV has a new electronic insurance verification program called West Virginia Online Verification (WVOLV) that is designed specifically for the purposes of real-time online verification of motor vehicle insurance. The program enables instant verification of insurance by the DMV at the time of vehicle registration and for monthly verification of all registered vehicles. Additionally, law enforcement will be able to utilize WVOLV during traffic stops and at motor vehicle crash sites.
All currently registered vehicles are subject to insurance verification.
A National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) number is used to identify your insurance company. Your insurance company lists it on your Certificate of Insurance (WV-1). You are required to provide this number for any vehicle registration transactions with the DMV.
All motor vehicles registered in WV are required to carry insurance issued by insurance companies that are licensed to sell in WV. To verify whether or not a company is licensed in WV, to check your NAIC number, or to obtain a consumer complaint form, contact the West Virginia Insurance Commission.
Responsibilities of all Registered Vehicle Owners
Keep proof of insurance in your vehicle. Motorists are required to carry proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Law enforcement officers will request this information during any traffic stop or vehicle crash investigation.
Keep your address with DMV up to date. It is not only law, it is critical to you receiving notifications of any type from the DMV. WV Motor Vehicle Code §17A-3-18 mandates 10 days to update your vehicle address and §17B-2-13 mandates 20 days to update your driver's license address upon moving to a new location. To update your address on both vehicle and driver's records you must complete and submit the Change of Address Form (DMV-98-TRB). This update will be in the DMV system ONLY. To obtain a new registration card with your new/current address, please see the Change of Address section.
If your vehicle is seasonally used, or is used for only part of the year, it is required to be insured for the time it is used. You will be required to show proof of valid insurance for the time the vehicle is used. During the time the vehicle is stored, you must complete the DMV form Seasonal Statement of Insurance (WV-4B) and submit it to the DMV. This form will require you to give the effective policy dates in which the vehicle will carry insurance coverage. During the listed effective dates, the DMV will electronically verify that a valid motor vehicle insurance policy is in place.
If you have sold a vehicle, you may submit a Sold Vehicle Notice (DMV-1-S) and the license plate to the DMV, or submit proof of plate transfer and proof of insurance on the new vehicle.
If you own a vehicle with a valid license plate and the vehicle becomes inoperable or out of use for any reason, you must maintain insurance on it unless you notify the DMV by completing an Owner's Notice of Insurance Cancellation (WV-4C) and return the license plate to the DMV.
If your plate has been lost and you need to apply for a duplicate plate, you may do so at any DMV regional office, or complete the Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Decal, or Plate & Change of Address (DMV-32-TR).
If you are required to surrender your license plate and it has been lost, you must complete the Vehicle Registration Plate Surrender (WV-4S) and submit it to the DMV.
If your plate as been stolen, contact your local law enforcement agency.
If you cancel your insurance, you must return the license plate to the DMV along with the Notice of Insurance Cancellation (WV-4C) form.
If you are involved in a crash with an uninsured driver, you may file a judgment through civil court. Once the judgment is awarded, you must submit a copy of the court order and the crash report to the DMV. Upon receipt, the DMV will notify the defendant of suspension of their driver's license. The suspension will remain in effect until the judgment is either paid in full or the defendant has entered into an installment agreement.
If a crash was investigated by the WV State Police, contact (304) 746-2128 to obtain a copy, or access their website at www.wvsp.gov.
If a crash was investigated by any other law enforcement agency, that agency must be contacted to obtain a copy of the report.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance or Proof of Insurance
Several penalties are in place for motorists who fail to present proof of insurance during an insurance verification or are found to be driving without insurance by any law enforcement agency. These administrative penalties affect your vehicle registration, as well as your driver's license. This does not include any criminal penalties that could result from a conviction through a court system. Criminal penalties include fines and jail time and have no bearing on the administrative penalties. Dismissal of the ticket through the court system does not release you from any obligation to provide insurance to the DMV upon request.
- Suspension of your vehicle registration. If you fail to show proof of insurance during a notice for verification of coverage, the vehicle registration plate will be suspended. The reinstatement fee is $100.00, plus proof of insurance for all vehicles currently registered. If the division sends a state police secure order on the plate, an additional fee of $50.00 will be assessed.
- Suspension of your driver's license. If you fail to show proof of insurance during a notice for verification of coverage, your driving privilege is subject to suspension. The driver’s license suspension period will be enhanced with a second offense and again for any subsequent offense of “no insurance” within a five year period. There is no provision in the Motor Vehicle code for a driving permit during a suspended period. After the suspension period ends, you will be required to pay a $50.00 reinstatement fee.
- Failure to pay or appear in Court for a ticket, may result in suspension of your driving privileges. Accordingly, when the Court later submits the TICKET RESOLUTION to the Division, this will cause any tickets for No Insurance to require additional suspension action. Any suspension time for the unresolved ticket issue does not count towards your insurance suspension requirement.
- Filing of false or fraudulent insurance information will result in a mandatory 90 day suspension of your driver's license, revocation of your vehicle, and possible prosecution that carries a fine of not more than $1,000 and jail time not to exceed one year.
You cannot have your vehicle registration reinstated until you submit proof of valid insurance policies for all motor vehicles registered in your name and pay a required reinstatement fee to the DMV.
When your driver's license is suspended, you are required to complete the suspension period. You may pay the reinstatement fee before the suspension period is complete and DMV will set your reinstatement date to begin as soon as the term of your suspension is completed.
No DMV regional office is authorized or equipped to provide information on reinstatement requirements. You may also pay your reinstatement fees through Online Services here. All insurance questions and reinstatement transactions are handled by mail or in person at DMV Headquarters:
WV Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
5707 MacCorkle Ave. SE, PO Box 17020
Charleston, WV 25317
Call (304) 926-3802 or 1 (800) 642-9066 with any of your insurance related questions.